Limiting Grace?


Re: Romans 5:15. It says that the Grace of Jesus Christ has abounded to many. I’m given to understand that people of the Calvinist view point to this verse to support their contention that God doesn’t extend His offer of Grace to everyone, only to the ones He has predestined to be saved…the “many”. There are lots of verses that say this is error, not the least of which is John 3:16. Please help me understand what Rom 5:15 is actually saying.


The Greek word translated abounded in Romans 5:15 means ” to exceed a fixed number of measure, to be left over and above a certain number or measure, to exist in abundance”. It’s never translated “to extend”. This means the abundance of the Grace of Jesus Christ exceeds our ability to measure it. And the verse doesn’t say “the many” it only says many, meaning that not everyone for whom it exists will accept it.

It’s important to remember that God wants for everyone to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:3-4). He doesn’t want anyone to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). These two verses explain God’s desires for mankind in the clearest possible terms.

Therefore, Romans 5:15 cannot be used to suggest there’s a limited number of people who qualify for His grace. On the contrary it means the opposite. If every man, woman, and child accepted all they could handle, there would still be plenty of His grace left over.